20 March 2015

theory of mind (WIP)

I

hulking skyscrapers leer at each other in the glinting sunlight
filled to the brim with an exquisite unhappiness, resignation,
muddling complacency...
sometimes I need this concrete-block-built biodome
and sometimes I can't handle it at all.
I am a poet
but I am told it is against my nature.
There are many reasons given.
I am of two minds about it:
it is true that I do not see what other people see--
but, then again, I see what other people do not see.
like when my eye catches on the red light
clinging like a tick to a brick smokestack in the distance
framed by muddy damp gray groaning sky
and the voices, the silences, in the room that my body inhabits
tumble over each other, splintering against my rocky countenance;
ossified society (ancient structures draped in the elaborate masks
that people wear, by choice or otherwise, scaffolded by
a strange belief in some grand and inscrutable ideal)
finds me unbearable and insubordinate.
meanwhile i find myself trying to decide
what the red light is for and
what it means

II

e e cummings ripped a hole
in the space-time continuum
because i didn't like his poetry.
i didn't say anything to him about it.
it would have been impolite
to make a scene, and besides
the damage had already been done

III

between ragged glimpses of hours torn to shreds
and flapping in the air

i can hear something, but i cannot make it out.
i feel it in the fibers of my muscles.

this silence-emptied cache of dreams
holds secrets, inopportunities, for the listening ear:

so close to superstition and empty graces,
seated at our table when we're not there.

i cannot remember dropping off to sleep without
the cliff, the painful drop and shatter at the end.

it's time to root my teeth, to fortify my skull;
replace my eyes when i awaken.

to shout into darkness, make it hear me--
sit and wonder while i exhale my old inflections

Words are my Weapon, and my Wound,
and they are all i've ever had.

IV

cast-iron pall on a stony bitter night.
the same vagaries resurfacing. as always.
feel your way around it: i cannot help you from here
my tongue, my teeth, are burning;
my throat is filled with flames.
if i were a dragon, this would be reasonable,
but i am not. make of it what you will.
inspiration curls around my ears,
spreads over my skin like blood
leaking from an outstretched, accidental proto-scar.
whether i heed its call, or not,
whether i breathe this fire, or not,
sometimes i see the Great Gears turning
(or, rather, imagine that i see them, as they are
metaphorical in nature)
and i know that i know nothing
yet i feel that i feel everything.
and the difference between knowing and feeling,
between feeling and knowing,
is the difference between the keening cry
of heedlessness 
and the texture of formality.

keep it down

keep your head down
they said,
and it will all blow over.

keep your voice down
they said,
we can hear you just fine.

keep your eyes down
they said,
for we are your superiors,
and to look us in the eye would be an insult.

so I keep my head down,
and I keep my voice down,
and I keep my eyes down,
like they said to.

and all I can see is the ground--
and my shoes.
All that I can see are my shoes,
and the ground,
and I cannot see anything
else.

15 March 2015

stabilized

i wore the same bra for six days
because they gave it to me
and it fit
and i was captive there
and had no choice

what little i remember:
harsh light
thin sheets
blue clothes like
crackling paper
clinging to the new arrivals
with static electricity
and fear

i escaped that place
through a pharmaceutical fog
playing the game just so
nodding along to every word
they said
and pretending
that i wasn't trapped

outside
the corners of these buildings cut
into my consciousness
gnarled fingers rising up
from cigarette-strewn streets
to scrape the sky
and i
am still wearing the bra that
they gave me
and all the labels that
they gave me
and the world seems
just
that
much
smaller

04 March 2015

sol 3

the gods' leftover snow falls stubbornly
from tumultuous sky
frosting sour mud left lingering in gutters
studding my black coat in little white balls and
standing here at this bus stop in the cold
i am an alien observer of this society
lost and confused as human organisms
ebb and flow in mysterious tides...
i may look like one of you but
i am not one of you and
i never have been or
(so it seems) never will be.

well, then.